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Penguin Case Study - Not Enough Content Above the Fold/Large Call to Actions

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by alexglo, May 5, 2012.

  1. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Greetings,

    Haven't really contributed anything to this place before but hopefully this can help some people out. Before Penguin was released I had a site ranking 2nd/3rd for a reasonably competitive niche.

    Site history: The domain is about 8 years old and has always ranked reasonably well for a particular keyword. There are a lot of natural backlinks from aged domains as well as more recent strategies such as Web 2.0s, wikis, blog comment etc etc u know the rest. These have been built up over 8 years. When I took over this site it was redesigned to fit certain business needs, use our custom CMS and also to allow for suitable onsite SEO. So after the redesign the page danced for a month before appearing top of page 2, and within the next month raised up to #2/#3.

    Everything was going fine, for months, Panda update after Panda update. Then Penguin hit...

    The weirdest thing was when Penguin hit the site went to #1 for 2 days. Then disappeared and settled on page 2. On various different sites I am running different tests to find out what I have implemented that google no longer likes. In this case I am changing one on-page factor, namely the amount of content above the fold, totally removing the large call to action that was sitting there previously (I have read a couple of people give theories on this and it is a perfect site to try it out on).

    What I did:

    I removed approx 500px of images/call to action at the top of the page and replaced it all with a a new menu item. This shifted the content of every page of the site right up to the top under the banner (the call to action was on every page).

    Results:

    Day 4: Nothing special, so far this does not seem to have made a significant change. My ranking changes are 1. my homepage instead of a random inner page has replaced the page 2 listing, 2. I have moved from around #15 to #12.

    Will keep this updated over the coming weeks and let you guys know how it goes. So far (for me) it's not looking like this should be a priority. Will be happy to answer any questions.
     
  2. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Just realised this should probably be in white hat section. sorry about that.
     
  3. ComputerEngineer

    ComputerEngineer Senior Member

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    recent algos seriously not about spam. they are about forcing more people to use adwords for driving traffic
     
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  4. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Unfortunately I can't buy into this as it's my job :p. Have definitely discussed it though.
     
  5. SuperLinks

    SuperLinks Elite Member

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    Thanks for posting this....

    I believe that there's more to it than just "above-the-fold", as I proposed originally in another thread.

    How good is your onsite optimization on a scale of 1-10?
    Is this large, above the fold, CTA sitewide?
     
  6. directaxcess

    directaxcess Power Member

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    I agree with a lot of people saying that the latest update is about forcing people to AdWords... I had done NO backlinking on my website yet it still dropped in rankings significantly -- my traffic completely died out for some reason. Penguin update is complete BS, I've never had a problem with Panda... but these mother f****** penguins lol
     
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  7. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    I fully agree, this seemed like something investigating as our sites with the largest CTAs seemed to be affected the most. Wanted to see if it was all a coincidence.

    The onsite optimisation is fairly strong but implemented in a natural way (i'd say I guess 7/10) basically lots of articles relating to long tail keywords with the main page optimised for the main keyword. I'm not sure how much detail you want but none of our articles are stuffed, keyword mentioned usually only in first and last paragraph, no bolding/underlining. H1 tag generally the long tail keyword (which is also the subject of the article).

    Yes the CTA was sidewide.
     
  8. lanbo

    lanbo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I don't think the fold has anything to do with your seo (at least not implented in this penguin update)
     
  9. nikolaalx

    nikolaalx Regular Member

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    Have in mind that there was a major Panda (Panda v 3.5) update on 19th April ..which was just few days before the Penguin.

    The above the fold is usually counted as a Panda factor...as it defines the "quality" of your page..and not the optimization level.
     
  10. ferma231

    ferma231 Elite Member

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    I removed pretty big header image and went up in rankings. When there was image i couldnt see article, but now i can, so maybe thats the problem to remove headers to see article ?
     
  11. assphuck

    assphuck Senior Member

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    A good analysis, with graphs, can be found at the URL below. They analyzed those sites which held their positions throughout Panda and Penguin. Lack of anchor text diversity was the common denominator in those sites which were penalized. They further state that if less than 50% of your primary keywords (money keywords) were used for backlinks, chances are Panda/Penguin would not have impacted you at all.

    http://www.micrositemasters.com/blo...need-to-act-smarter-and-5-easy-ways-to-do-so/

    Before destroying your content, you may want to take a look at what they have analyzed. Best of success in your efforts getting back to page one. :)
     
  12. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Thanks :). Luckily the changes haven't really affected the sites earnings anyway.
     
  13. ComputerEngineer

    ComputerEngineer Senior Member

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    I loled this part "but these mother f****** penguin" ^^

    Yes it is definitely about that. They are killing small & medium sites with ridiculous reasons and yet not touching big ones, making them even stronger.
     
  14. assphuck

    assphuck Senior Member

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    Especially when it comes to products, Google is displaying mostly Overtsock, Amazon, eBay, etc. sites. This will essentially teach shoppers to bookmark these sites and avoid going to Google entirely when shopping for specific items. It will impact Adwords users in the long run as well. :D
     
  15. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Update: Now at #9, no other changes/addition backlinks have been made.
     
  16. SuperLinks

    SuperLinks Elite Member

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    Interesting! Would you mind doing a quick drawing/sketch of your previous above the fold design and what you currently have?

    I'm curious how much more content was added, and to where in comparison to your previous design.
     
  17. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Will do tomorrow.
     
  18. zoomsixx

    zoomsixx Senior Member Premium Member

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    tyler-penguin.jpg
     
  19. alexglo

    alexglo Junior Member

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    Sorry I haven't updated this thread in a while. Got an important one. Site is now sitting on page 3. Nothing else was done apart from what i stated above. Who knows what's going on haha.
     
  20. BENNY8877

    BENNY8877 Supreme Member

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    I don't buy into the whole Adwords idea, although I thought this at first. The reason I don't believe this is G's intention is because they have banned tons of affiliates from Adwords, so why would they do that if they wanted everyone to use it? I actually know quite a few people who got into SEO because they could no longer get an Adwords campaign running. The bottom line is, Google is trying to get rid of the small guy for anything that they do, and only want large businesses and brands to appear anywhere in there listings. Unless of course you are a thirteen year old blogger who is writing about flowers or rainbows just for fun, then they will rank you number one.

    And every few months you can see more and more ads above the fold in the search results.